Roopal Shah

Roopal ShahShare

Head (VP) of Global Enablement, Benchling
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Roopal Shah
Roopal Shah
Head (VP) of Global Enablement, BenchlingMay 18

Good question - to have to pick is tough but if I must, here are the main things I think every sales rep needs in their bag to be successful: 

(1) First Call Deck / Pitch Deck 

(2) Competitive Battlecard(s) (including how to place traps / how to arm against competitor's traps - shields/swords type of thing)

(3) Tough Q&A Log with really hard questions that a likely customer is to ask

(4) Value Map(s) 

(5) Customer Stories

Roopal Shah
Roopal Shah
Head (VP) of Global Enablement, BenchlingMay 18

I'm a big fan of Nancy Duarte's work and her book Resonate. It speaks a lot to what a good narrative should be for any presentation.  

With that said, Enablement is a lot about teaching - so how you present to a customer is not necessarily how you present to a seller. For sellers, I put my teacher hat on and really think about what is it that they want to know about and how do I make the content engaging and interactive enough, that they don't fall asleep.  


So not quite a framework, but hopefully still helpful.

Roopal Shah
Roopal Shah
Head (VP) of Global Enablement, BenchlingMay 18

Your CMS (content management system) should have some sort of archiving parameters in place that should remind the PMM team when things get stale.


With that said, all the reminders in the world won't matter if people ignore them, so I recommend you also have a "librarian" of sorts manage your content site - whether it's in a sales portal or in another tool, someone who is in charge of managing the site, tracking metrics, and also monitoring / organizing PMM when content needs to be refreshed/archived.  

Roopal Shah
Roopal Shah
Head (VP) of Global Enablement, BenchlingJanuary 9

For us the Corp Marketing team is accountable for brand, demand generation, creative, and communication (PR/AR/etc.) along with execution of programs (e.g. project management on campaigns or tradeshow/event work). The content however comes from Product Marketing to deliver in these programs and events.  

Roopal Shah
Roopal Shah
Head (VP) of Global Enablement, BenchlingMay 18

I love Agile practices for this...my teams have always followed a process of Intake prioritization, and constant backlog grooming to feed a roadmap.

A roadmap typically is a combination of the absolute must haves (e.g. events like SKO or infratsructure projects like getting an LMS in place or what not), and should haves (e.g. key strategic goals, new product launches requiring enablement, etc.) and some white space for all those things you can't possibly plan in fast growth companies. 

Roopal Shah
Roopal Shah
Head (VP) of Global Enablement, BenchlingMay 19

It depends on where you are in the growth journey. If this is a strategy change - in terms of no longer selling a product to selling a platform, it's more about messaging & the art of the possible with a platform.  

If you're further in the growth journey and have a complex product portfolio, where now you need to layer on a platform message, then it's about really ensuring your AEs have that foundational knowledge down.


Regardless, with a platform, I find that (1) it's a more technical sale (2) you need to really upskill the AEs or bring in your technical SEs to own the conversation (3) your buy may change from the business to IT but since you want to avoid that (since IT tends to be a cost center), you really need to still try to get the business to see the value of the platform and the art of the possible, so they can advocate for it.

Roopal Shah
Roopal Shah
Head (VP) of Global Enablement, BenchlingMay 18

My biggest challenge is working with all the other groups vying for seller attention and helping them approach it with empathy and working for the greater good, versus what they think is best. But the responsibility here isn't all on them - enablement has a responsibilty to also present the full list of requests and pull cross functional groups together to prioritize them together. 

Roopal Shah
Roopal Shah
Head (VP) of Global Enablement, BenchlingMay 18

Value selling is a really tool you can have in your arsenal. I would do a few things here if you're focused on having them shift to higher selling things.

(1) Articulate Value - what is the customer getting for paying more? What are the benefits they would gain with this?  

(2) Teach them to place competitive traps - what are questions they could be asking their prospects to place some FUD in their minds? I have done things like "below the iceberg" documents for AEs which teach them all the things that the customer may not be thinking about in terms of all the below the surface stuff that technology needs to have in place that a more expensive solution could be (e.g. security, performance, etc.). 

(3) Make sure they have the tough questions down and know how to answer it like the back of their hands

(4) Customer stories, testimonials, and references from customers who bought the more expensive products and felt it was worth it 

Roopal Shah
Roopal Shah
Head (VP) of Global Enablement, BenchlingMay 18

Work with your enablement team! And like with a lot of things these days, you're competiting for their attention - why should they listen to you? What's in it for them as sellers? What do they get if they listen to you on this topic? 

Also, work with sales leadership and have some street cred under your belt - shadow deals, visit customers, go along on ride alongs, and really build those relationships and empathy that will allow them to trust you and want to make time for your ideas and pitches.

Roopal Shah
Roopal Shah
Head (VP) of Global Enablement, BenchlingJanuary 5

Roll up your sleeves and learn the ins & out of the product...sit down with them and actually learn it - maybe even demo it.  

Credentials & Highlights
Head (VP) of Global Enablement at Benchling
Top Product Marketing Mentor List
Product Marketing AMA Contributor
Lives In Fremont, California
Knows About Customer Research, Competitive Positioning, Market Research, Influencing the Product ...more